“Amy, go pray for that lady.”
“Lord, me? I don’t have anything to pray that matters.”
This happens all the time on my daily run. It has been happening to me for years. Often I resist, continuing to run until my feet literally stick into the pavement and I can’t go forward, I just have to turn around and go back. And very rarely does the person say, “No, I don’t want prayer.” Almost always there are tears involved as I speak a simple word that strikes a chord in the receiver's heart, calls to an inner struggle or victory that I had no way of knowing they were experiencing. Today this word of, “God has a good spring season for you, a fresh new start” spoke to her in a way I couldn’t have known. She just learned she was in remission from cancer.
As I began to write this piece weeks ago, I wanted to tell you then about the pandemic that has changed our lives drastically, about how I first accepted this challenge before most of us heard the word COVID-19. Back then I could rally a message around May Day, Mother’s Day, or graduation. I could make it a message about anticipation of fresh spring days ahead for the women at Wings!
Later I wanted to tell you that this same piece was transformed into a self-isolation, protect your neighbor by staying home, this is a season of self-reflection and getting closer to God theme. But as time lingers in what feels like the void eye of a hurricane, we have seen a few things emerge from this pandemic that really says it all. The Earth will heal itself by God’s grace without us. The human spirit is a multi-faceted creature consisting of the best and worst of behavior. Everyone has an opinion. Idol time is the devil’s playground. Sex trafficking doesn’t take time out for pandemics but in fact feeds and grows in it. Living in isolation is sometimes as hard as dying in isolation.
And-God never ever changes. He is with each of us always loving us with the biggest, brightest love!
So, during this 92nd rewrite of this article I finally stopped and asked, “Lord what is it YOU want me to say?”
Don’t plead with me to abandon you or to return and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you live, I will live; your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Ruth 1:16
The world, our lives, and Wings will be different on the “other” side of this initial COVID-19 outbreak journey. Some of the people, places and activities that we held so dear and believed would always be part of us, will be gone. Some will be lost forever into time. In reality we should have all learned by now that we are less in control than we think we are, which gives us greater power to choose to fight for each other, to love each other, and to treasure the light of Jesus that is in each person. We can’t turn away from or run on past even one more girl; even in times of personal danger. We just can’t. We all have a role to play that matters.
I miss the women at Wings during this time. I miss the staff at Wings. I miss the volunteers. I miss watching the interactions between them that make my heart smile. I miss hearing their voices teach me, and their hearts inspire me to love bigger. I miss seeing the works of art that are their lives made and remade new into a dance, a banner, a song and a play that is only completed by the touch of God. They all are part of the team, working miracles that is more than just recovery. The restoration that happens at Wings of Refuge lifts us all to a higher place. We don’t fight against exploitation because it provides a safe home to recover and heal. Yes the Wings house does that! But we fight because we are all God’s people together.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9
A few months ago, a Wings post urged readers to watch the movie Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. I hadn’t seen it before and something drew me to it although parts of it are not easy to watch. The movie brought to my attention sex trafficking in The Netherlands. Then earlier this month it just popped into my head to check on a friend that had moved away months ago. I haven’t heard from her since. She has always been vulnerable to the influence of romantic companionship, and I hoped she was doing well during this time, because really, aren’t we all a little extra vulnerable and craving connection right now. She told me that her new boyfriend was taking her to the Netherlands as soon as they could travel, to see if she wanted to move there. She was so excited but she said something in her just didn’t feel right about the suddenness. And it didn’t feel right to me either, and even more so with my new knowledge. What I had to say that day mattered, to her it mattered. I can’t run past even one more girl.
For those of you that are already Wings of Refuge folk, we are a people together. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, Hebrews 6:9
For those of you who want to know more about how you can support Wings of Refuge or their mission, know that there are people waiting for you, to welcome you right where you are in your journey! Know that this work isn’t just about some higher cause, it is about real people that live real lives just like you and me. Know that we have been praying for you. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of hands. 2 Timothy 1:6.
And for anyone that maybe is wondering about and wanting to know this Jesus that never changes, that loves and restores and makes new. His desire is for you! The Lord is near to all who call upon Him in truth Psalm 145:18
Today is a great day for all people to call upon Jesus. Today, God has a good spring season for you, for a new fresh start. Restoration. Hope.
I pray that the God of hope fill all of us with all joy and peace in believing so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
By: Amy, Wings of Refuge Volunteer